Biased random?

Robert Kern robert.kern at
Tue Aug 28 01:02:58 CEST 2007

Jun-geun Park wrote:
> Ivan Voras wrote:
>> Hi,
>> I have a list of items, and need to choose several elements from it,
>> "almost random". The catch is that the elements from the beginning
>> should have more chance of being selected than those at the end (how
>> much more? I don't care how the "envelope" of probability looks like at
>> this point - can be linear). I see that there are several functions in
>> Python standard libraries for various distribution, but is there an easy
>> pythonic way to make them do what I need?
> That's weird. random.randint(a,b) will be enough for most cases. Test
> your system to see the distribution is uniform with something like:

The distribution is uniform. However, he wants a way to get non-uniform sampling
of that list.

Robert Kern

"I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma
 that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had
 an underlying truth."
  -- Umberto Eco

More information about the Python-list mailing list